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Great Art Explained: The Scream

Credit: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) is a Norwegian painter who is considered the father of expressionism and one of the most influential figures in the world of modern art. His childhood was darkened by illness, death, and the constant fear of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family. However, he managed to maintain a relative mental composure. 

He studied Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania (today's Oslo), where he became part of the bohemia and met the Norwegian nihilist writer Hans Jæger. The latter inspired Munch to begin to paint his inner emotional and psychological states, which was seminal for the development of his style.


The French impressionists and post-impressionists were another great influence on Edvard Munch's paintings. He traveled to Paris where he got acquainted with the works of Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and van Gogh and their painting techniques deeply impressed him. In 1893, after yet another family misfortune (his sister entered an asylum for mental health) Munch painted his most famous piece of art – The Scream.

Below you can watch a short video and learn more about the intriguing picture.

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